Category Archives: Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – Review

Review: Recapturing the magic of the original/first film is often an arduous quest, even by Marvel standards. Let’s forget not about how Joss Whedon’s misery, in crafting Age of Ultron to follow up the groundbreaking Avengers assemble, could not live up to the expectation. Given that record, it’s not a big surprise that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 falls flat in its attempt to live up the virtuoso of Marvel’s biggest gamble; what’s surprising: it still makes an awesome fun-tertaining space bravura centering on galaxy’s most favorite dysfunctional ‘family.’

Element of surprise is what’s missed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The Guardians – along with their closest relatives – aren’t unfamiliar faces anymore; same goes to Awesome Mix, the intergalactic vistas, and the typical jokes and banters they’re throwing. During their tenure in Guardians of the Galaxy, they’ve shared spotlight to finally form this band of misfits into a sort of universe protectors. Now, some must relegate into supporting roles and some must go upfront in not so typical disbanding-after-assembling sequel trope. Continue reading Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – Review

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Blindspot: Unforgiven (1992)

“I’ve killed women and children. I’ve killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another,” said William Munny explaining who he was.

Clint Eastwood dedicated his final Western film as a director and an actor, Unforgiven,  to the sub-genre that has made great name out of him. More, he specifically dedicated it to people whom he’ll be forever in debt with, Sergio Leone and Don Siegel. And, who knows that a devoted tribute would end up being a milestone to the modern-day Western film. And, who knows that this tribute would be Eastwood’s legacy. Continue reading Blindspot: Unforgiven (1992)

Stip & Pensil (2017): Slumdogs & Millionaires

Review: In my bare thought, Stip & Pensil – eraser and pencil – might be A Copy of My Mind v2.0 written but not directed by Joko Anwar. Helmed by Ardy Octaviand, this film is projecting the writer’s exasperation towards suburban sh*ts in metropolitan – from blooming population, social gap, education awareness et al – in a lighter mode, making it more urban than Mr. Anwar’s political-heavy feature. It’s no surprise if this story feels timely and relevant to today’s situation through and through.

In presenting its serious theme, Stip & Pensil points out that the core of those suburban problems is: illiteracy – literally and figuratively. Illiteracy leads to low education and poverty, which force children to work instead of studying. People are unaware of these unfortunate chains, resulting in tremendous social gap. At the opposite edge, educated wealthy people are judged to have been prone to exclusiveness, promoting larger gaps. Mr. Anwar’s script proposes a thought, a different perception as a tool to mend the gap. Continue reading Stip & Pensil (2017): Slumdogs & Millionaires

Kartini (2017): A timely, exquisite story about women

Review: While Raden Ajeng Kartini, hailed as the symbol of women emancipation and empowerment in Indonesia, has always been a timeless subject; Hanung Bramantyo’s Kartini surprisingly comes at the most relevant moment – when feminism movement is on the wild run; when rift between the conservative and the progressive is on the edge; when discrimination and patriarchal superiority suddenly awaken from their dormant state – clinching its factual relevance to modern day audiences as more than just a ‘glorified depiction’ of a real-life figure.

Kartini revolves around specific period of the titular character’s life: during her ‘pingitan’ or glorified seclusion. Kartini (Dian Sastrowardoyo), an aristocrat by birth, is bound to be a ‘raden ayu’ – glorified wife/concubine of aristocrats – when she has grown enough. To become one, she must enter ‘pingitan’ ever since her coming of age; she must get secluded from outside world to prepare her to be a perfect woman.  Continue reading Kartini (2017): A timely, exquisite story about women

The Guys (2017): When ‘The Guys’ become the other guy

Review: For a film titled The Guys, Raditya Dika’s quick follow-up to his star-studded, box office making Hangout, it ‘almost’ lives up to the title; had some more dominating sub-plot not overtaken the spotlight. Dika, as writing-and-starring director, displays more maturity in his ‘usual romantic comedy’ trope, but who knows that this film isn’t about that at all.

In The Guys, Raditya Dika stars as Alfi, an employee in an agency, who shares a flat with his co-workers, Rene (Marthino Lio), Aryo (Indra Jegel), and a Thai expat, Sukun (Phongsiree Bunluewong). Alfi is a straight Dika’s typical character – a loser in love; that before his chivalrous act enchant Amira (Pevita Pearce). Things go south when Amira’s widowed father (Tarzan) also starts developing feeling towads Alfi’s widowed mother (Widyawati). With aids from his BFF – Best Flatmate Forever – Alfi sets up a plan to mess with the older generation’s relationship to secure his own. Continue reading The Guys (2017): When ‘The Guys’ become the other guy

The Fate of the Furious (2017) – Review

Review: Entering its 8th installment, Fast and Furious franchise doesn’t seem to run out of gas at all. I was thinking that the franchise will slow down a little in post-Paul Walker era; but, apparently, the word ‘slow’ doesn’t exist in this saga’s vocabulary. In Fast and Furious 8, dubbed as The Fate of the Furious (stylized as The F8 of the Furious), Dominic Toretto et al instantly deliver us the most excessively over-the-top CAR-nage in this franchise since the beginning.

Remember that final 15 minutes of Furious 7? That’s a beautiful finale that glued this franchise to family-fueled action bravura. It’s no longer some films about street race or carjack; it’s becomes a massive, worldwide slugfest. Since then, this franchise’s principle has become: more is never enough. Continue reading The Fate of the Furious (2017) – Review